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How Much Does a House Survey Cost in 2021?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Mike Ashton

21st Nov 2019 (Last updated on 23rd Jul 2021) 11 minute read

In 2021, a UK house survey could cost anywhere between £290-£1,390, depending on the location as well as the value and size of the property. This is just a guideline for surveyor fees, your own situation and the surveyor you choose will also determine how much you pay for your house survey.

Once your offer has been accepted, you should hire a property surveyor. A house survey gives you the opportunity to back out of the sale without having to risk losing your deposit if the survey discovers expensive repairs or renegotiate your original offer to cover any repair costs.

Compare My Move have taken the average costs from a sample of 20 RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Societies from across the UK to give you a clear guideline of all house survey costs in this useful guide.

This article will cover the following:
  1. RICS New Home Survey Standards
  2. Average House Survey Costs in the UK
  3. House Survey Costs by Property Value
  4. RICS Valuation Costs
  5. Home Condition Survey (Level 1 Survey) Costs
  6. Homebuyers Survey (Level 2 Survey) Costs
  7. Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) Costs
  8. Are There Any Other Costs Involved?
  9. Comparing Different Home Surveys
  10. Why Do I Need a Home Survey?
  11. Is a House Survey Worth the Cost?
  12. Where to Find a Surveyor?
  13. Save on your Surveying Costs

RICS New Home Survey Standards

In March 2021, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) implemented a new Home Survey Standard which also launched the new formats for the Home Survey reports. This means that what was once known as the condition report, homebuyers survey and building survey will be changed and updated. There will be a transition period running between 1st March and 31st August 2021 where both the old and new formats will be accepted - from 1st September 2021, only the new reports can be used by surveyors. The new home survey reports are as follows:

  • Home Survey Level 1 Report
  • Home Survey Level 2 Report (survey only)
  • Home Survey Level 2 Report (survey and valuation)
  • Home Survey Level 3 Report

These changes came as a result of an industry and consumer consultation by RICS in August 2019. The new Home Survey Standard was designed to "increase consistency, transparency and competency across all residential surveying in the UK" and will soon be "the single standard for condition-based home surveys."

Average House Survey Costs in the UK

We've calculated the average UK house survey costs as £380 to £800 depending on the type of survey you choose. The table below includes the average cost for a valuation survey, condition report, homebuyer survey and a building survey/full structural survey for the average UK house price of £267,000.

Survey TypeAverage Surveyor Fee

RICS Valuation

£320

Condition Report (Level 1 Survey)

£380

Homebuyers Report (Level 2 Survey)

£500

Building Survey (Level 3 Survey)

£800


House Survey Costs by Property Value

The table below includes the average cost for all home survey types for a range of property values.

Your surveying costs will mainly be based on the value of the property - so the more expensive the property is, the higher the surveyor fees will be. The true costs may fluctuate depending on the size of property, location and your chosen surveyor.

Property ValueValuation CostCondition Report (Level 1 Survey) CostHomebuyer Report (Level 2 Survey) CostBuilding Survey (Level 3 Survey) Cost
Up to £100,000£220£290£380£630
£100,001 to £200,000£280
£290
£420
£700
£200,001 to £300,000
£320
£380
£500
£800
£300,001 to 400,000
£370
£400
£570
£900
£400,001 to £500,000
£420
£420
£640
£990
£500,001 to £600,000
£490
£470
£740
£1,120
£600,001 to £700,000
£520
£500
£790
£1,180
£700,001 to £800,000
£570
£520
£860
£1,270
£800,001 to £900,000
£610
£540
£920
£1,340
£900,001 to £1,000,000
£640
£560
£980
£1,390

Compare My Move took the average costs from a sample of 20 RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Societies across the UK.

RICS Valuation Costs

A RICS valuation can cost £320 for the average property in the UK, though costs can be as low as £160 and as high as £600. The cost of the valuation is relative to your property value and the lender you choose to go with.

RICS Valuation at a glance:

  • This is not a property survey.
  • It's used by mortgage lenders to confirm the value of the property.
  • It won't highlight any defects or damage.

Some mortgage lenders will include a valuation for free whilst some start as cheap as £75. The prices in the table are just as average and you should find out what mortgage fees are required before you take out a mortgage.

It should be noted that a valuation survey or a mortgage valuation is not a property survey. The valuation won't look for hidden defects, a valuation will only confirm to your mortgage lender that the property is worth what they're lending. You'll also find out the amount of mortgage you can afford.

Find out more: what is a valuation survey?

Home Condition Survey (Level 1 Survey) Costs

The level 1 survey or home condition report costs £380 for the average UK home. The cost of a condition report is relative to your house price and size, so depending on your house price you could pay between £290 to £560 for the survey.

Home Condition Report (Level 1 Survey) at a glance:

  • Mainly for new build homes.
  • The most basic and least in-depth survey.
  • Ideal if you just want a straightforward condition rating.

The condition report is a level 1 home survey and thus the most basic and cheapest RICS survey available. This report will grade the various elements of the property and will only state if there are defects that need urgent repairs or further investigation. The surveyor will provide condition ratings for the main parts of the building, garage and some outside elements. They will be rated from 1-3, with 1 meaning no repairs or further investigation needed and 3 meaning dangerous or in need of urgent investigation.

The condition report will highlight any urgent issues that could affect your safety, but won’t offer advice on the value of the property. This level home survey is mainly suited for new build homes that are in good condition as the survey isn’t very in-depth.

Find out more: what is a condition report?

Homebuyers Survey (Level 2 Survey) Costs

A level 1 survey, also known as a homebuyers survey costs £500 - though you may pay between £325 and £900. The true cost will vary depending on the size of your home and its location and whether or not you require a valuation.

Homebuyers Report (Level 2 Survey) at a glance:

  • Suited for most modern property types.
  • Designed for properties that are in good condition.
  • Designed for properties that were made using common materials.
  • Not as in-depth as a level 3 survey.
  • More comprehensive than the condition report.
  • Valuation optional.

You will need a level 1 home survey if the house you’re going to buy is a new build or relatively modern, fairly conventional and built with common materials. If the report discovers any damage or problems with the house, you will have the chance to negotiate a lower price or you could walk away from the sale altogether, avoiding any risks and expensive repair costs - these issues will also be rated between 1-3. The report will also contain further advice that buyers should take concerning repairs before committing to the house purchase.

If your surveyor is also an RICS Registered Valuer, you can usually ask to have a valuation done alongside the survey report, but it's likely to cost you around £50 extra. If you require a valuation for your mortgage agreement, check with your lender beforehand to ensure they will accept this type of valuation.

Find out more: what is a homebuyers survey?

Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) Costs

A level 3 home survey or building survey costs £800 on average, though it can be as cheap as £630 and as expensive as £1,200. A building survey is the most comprehensive of all the survey types and provides an in-depth examination of the structure and condition of the home. It's is the highest survey level and includes an thorough inspection of the property and detailed report.

Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) at a glance:

  • Suited for older or listed buildings.
  • Designed for properties that have had, or plan to have, extension or renovation work carried out.
  • Suitable for properties in poor condition
  • Designed for properties built using unusual materials.
  • The most comprehensive survey and usually the most expensive
  • Describes identifiable risks and hidden defects.

Like all surveys, your house survey cost will come down to the price of the property and the amount of time spent surveying the home and preparing the report. For that reason, many surveyors will be happy to charge an agreed rate per hour instead of a flat rate for the report.

You will need a level 3 home survey if the property you plan to buy is either an older building, one that was constructed with unusual materials, is in poor repair or is a listed building. A building survey may seem expensive, but it will be able to highlight many hidden defects that could cost you thousands to repair after you’ve moved in. You will also be given recommendations for further actions to help you decide whether the home is a worthy investment.

Find out more: what is a building survey?

Are There Any Other Costs Involved?

In most cases, you should only have to pay for the survey itself, along with any necessary repair costs (at a later date, if you decide to) that have been highlighted, unless you agree for these to be taken off your offer.

If your survey reveals bad results, your surveyor may recommend that you get a further specialist survey - these surveys will be much more specific and only focus on the issue at hand.

Potential Further Surveys

Damp Survey - For properties that have serious damp issues, a damp survey may be recommended to tackle the problem. A damp survey will cost between £150-£300 but can vary.

Dry Rot Survey - If your survey highlight dry or wet rot, then there’s a dry rot survey available for a deeper inspection. A dry rot survey will cost between £200-£400 but can vary.

It's important to remember that your property surveyor will usually not be a structural engineer, electrician or plumber, so they may recommend asking a specialist for alternative opinions and advice on certain problems. These will only be for specific issues and the option is entirely up to you.

If you decide to take their advice and have a follow-up inspection, then you'll have to cover the added costs. Your surveyor should only recommend these if they believe a real risk might exist and the cost of the specialist inspection is justified.

Comparing Different Home Surveys

The type of property you’re going to be buying will affect what type of survey will best be suited to you. Here’s a comparison of each house survey and the type of property it's best suited to. Find out more about which survey you need: what type of survey do I need?

Condition Report

(Level 1 Survey)

Homebuyers Report (Level 2 Survey)Building Survey (Level 3 Survey)

What property type is it for?

New build properties or properties that are under 5 years old

Any type of property that isn't of high risk or over 50 years old

Properties over 50 years old or that are unusually constructed

Completed by a qualified surveyor



















Valuation included

×













×







Includes a clear traffic light rating













×







Looks at the condition of the property



















Offers an in-depth look at the structure of a property××

Identifies potential problems



















Offers professional repair recommendations

×



















Highlights defects and urgent issues



















Helps buyers negotiate a better price



















Includes information for your conveyancer



















Why Do I Need a Home Survey?

It’s always worth getting a house survey done when you’re buying a house, not only to receive expert advice from a surveyor, but a survey will help you to save money in the long run.

When you get a house survey, your surveyor will highlight any major issues they have found, giving you the opportunity to completely pull out of the sale as your offer will be Sold Subject to Contract (STC) or to negotiate on the offer to cover the repairs. This ensures that you don’t regret the purchase or any of the compromises you’d have to make.

Main reasons you need a house survey:

  • Highlights any repairs needed
  • Allows you to negotiate your offer to cover repair costs
  • Can pull out of the sale if really damaging
  • Learn important information about the building

    Is a House Survey Worth the Cost?

    In a previous study, RICS discovered that 4 in 5 homeowners bought a property without having a home survey first. These buyers then went on to spend on average £5,750 in unexpected repair work. You can easily avoid these costs by hiring a verified surveyor to inspect your property. You can then determine if the property is worth the investment and the necessary repair costs identified or renegotiate your original offer to cover the repairs costs.

    Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said, “Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are so blind to the facts. Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them, consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb." King continued by stating that "this can cause extreme stress and financial strain on homeowners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.”

    Where to Find a Surveyor?

    You should only ever hire a property surveyor that is RICS registered.

    Your mortgage lender, broker or estate agent might recommend a surveyor, but it should be noted they're usually receiving a commission. It's better to use someone that's been recommended by family and friends or via a comparison site where you can read reviews and compare surveying quotes.

    Compare My Move have a network of RICS regulated and trusted surveyors all across the UK to help when you're buying a house. We can connect you with up to 5 property surveyors to take your pick from, helping you save money on your surveying costs.

    Learn More About Surveying

    This is part of our guide to surveying. Next we take a look at questions you can ask your surveyor to ensure a smooth process. To learn more read what should I ask my property surveyor.

    Martha Lott

    Written by Martha Lott

    Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

    Mike Ashton

    Reviewed by Mike Ashton

    Director at Cambridge Building Surveyors, Cambridge Building Surveyors

    With over 20 years of experience in the property surveying industry, Mike Ashton is now the director at Cambridge Building Surveyors.